Near the end of the Obama administration, prison reform advocates had grown cautiously optimistic that America’s pattern of incarcerating two million US citizens each year might be coming to an end.
But the election of Donald Trump has put an end to that optimism, as the newly elected president has instituted policies that will likely lead to a rise in imprisonments nationwide. This could mean more federal dollars for rural economies on the High Plains, many of which rely on prisons to sustain their economy.
Meanwhile, before Trump’s election there had also been optimism that the private prison industry might be on its way out. But, as The Week reports, the private prison industry is already booming under Trump. The boom has alarmed critics, who note that the less a private prison spends on inmate well being, the more it can pocket as profit.